Building UP and not tearing down.
2 Corinthians 13:10
This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authoritythe authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
List to what the Scriptures say in Revelations about the church in Thyatira
18 To the angel of the church in Thyatira write:
These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. 19 I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.
It begins, as with the other churches do, with an exhortation.
Even though Thyatira was where the evil one Jezebel worhshipped, it doesn't start out with condemnation. Why?
Because, as the Scriptures point out, it is better to hold up the bride of our Lord to be blessed, with the good it is doing, rather than condemn it for the bad that was going on.
So what is this concernedmembers site good for?
They believe in condemnation instead of exhortation.
Even Paul, with his authority and inspiration from God, knew that.
[color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]Dave,
This is an excellent topic to discuss. However, "building up" is such a broad subject, and/but it can be narrowed down to specifics in reference to, e.g., the family, an organization, the church, a local congregation, etc.
You referenced in Rev. 2:18 one (Thyatira) of the churches discussed in this chapter, which are also listed in Rev. 1: "the seven churches which are in Asia; Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea."
Since you mentioned "Thyatira," one of the churches in Asia, are you suggesting that ConcernedMembers is a church? I hope not. CM is not a church; it's not even a religious online publication. Rather, it is a religious forum. It was originally designed by the owners with the intent to combat the evil efforts of change agents operating in the brotherhood to alter, modify, restructure the church, even to the extent of rewriting the history of the Restoration Movement.
ConcernedMembers' beginning coincided with [perhaps quite a bit late for it] the Rick Warren-Bill Hybels era of the Community Church Movement expansion. If you think that Community Church-ism was affecting only the denominational world, but not the church of Christ, you are deluded. In fact, Rick Warren was a former Baptist pastor and is now the senior pastor of the famous Saddleback Community Church in CA. Bill Hybels is the current leader of the famous Willow Creek Association of Community Churches, with which a few "former" churches of Christ are now affiliated.
In the case of the Madison congregation, a few of its leaders were actually commissioned to visit and learn lessons about the numerical church growth of the Saddleback Community Church. So they went and came back invigorated and inspired to apply "lessons learned" and implement them ever so subtly and gradually and methodically in the church's program. (You can read about what happened from the various threads of this site.) Remember that some of our "mega" churches -- targets of the change agents -- were way ahead of Madison. And many readers and many in the brotherhood are now cognizant of the results of the change agents' efforts at Oak Hills, Richland Hills, etc.
Who knows what could have happened at Madison without some intervention? Madison's leaders, at/about the time of the upheaval, could have very well succumbed to the change agents' overall culture-driven "growing the church" SCHEME
. Thanks, SO FAR, that Madison, although divided between "traditional" and "contemporary" groups, has not gone "instrumental." The farthest it's gone was the employment of the professional services of the elite "Praise Team" and, along with that, the "worship" CHOREOGRAPHY [trying to compete with productions made for TV, huh!] and the burdensome STAFF infection.
In thwarting the efforts and evil schemes of the change agents, whether giving some credit to half of its membership leaving or giving some credit to "concerned members" ... it really does not matter.
Has ConcernedMembers done a lot of good to combat the evil schemes of the change agents, the forces of the Community Church Movement, the Charismatic Movement and other "isms"? I strongly believe so.
Just look around. Even in the political realm, the U.S. Constitution and the freedoms of the citizenry are under constant siege. So is the church of our Lord under siege and attack by the left-wing, liberal leaders and forces. In fact, there has now been going on for some time the "Emergent Church Movement." It means that we now have to contend with various forces besides the Community Church Movement.[/color]